September 15 Philadelphia Inquirer:
“This much, Ruben Amaro Jr. stressed: The three prospects the Phillies acquired in an off-season trade with Seattle for Cliff Lee are young. The general manager said his staff understood that at the time of the deal. Plenty of development was still needed.
With that said, the first year in the Phillies‘ system has not been kind to Phillippe Aumont, Tyson Gillies, and J.C. Ramirez.
The latest blow came Thursday, when Ramirez, a righthander, underwent surgery to repair a torn labrum (cartilage) in his hip. The Phillies say Ramirez should be ready by spring training.
Nonetheless, it marks another setback in a series of them for the three high-profile prospects.
“We have a long way to go on them,” Amaro said. “We still view them as strong prospects for us. We’ll see how they develop.”
Yes, they are young. Ramirez turned 22 in August. Gillies turns 22 on Halloween. Aumont will be 22 in January.
But it also means whatever expectations the three arrived with will intensify in 2011 after a lot of disappointments in 2010.
Ramirez performed the best out of the bunch. He began the season in single-A Clearwater and finished with double-A Reading. In 24 overall starts, he had a 4.82 ERA with 115 strikeouts and 41 walks.
Amaro said Ramirez pitched much of the season with the hip injury.
“We had diagnosed it fairly early [that] he had problems with the labrum,” Amaro said. “He pitched through it. We knew he wouldn’t have any significant damage with it as he pitched. As long as he tolerated it, he could pitch.”
After the end of Reading’s season, further evaluations showed Ramirez had a tear in his right labrum.
Aumont and Gillies had disappointing seasons for different reasons.
The righthanded Aumont began the season at Reading, which assistant GM Chuck LaMar later said was a mistake. For the season at Reading and Clearwater, Aumont had a 5.68 ERA in 27 games (21 starts) as he shifted from being a reliever in the Mariners’ system to a starter with the Phillies. He walked 80 batters and allowed 129 hits in 122 innings.
Gillies played in just 28 games this season and was sidetracked by a hamstring injury. Then, on Aug. 20, the outfielder was charged with cocaine possession by Pinellas County (Fla.) sheriff’s officers. Amaro would not comment on Gillies‘ current legal situation.
The GM said Gillies was rehabbing his hamstring in Clearwater and will not face punishment from the organization in addition to whatever legal trouble he could be in.
“He’s a quality kid,” Amaro said. “Whether he has an issue or a problem, that will be up to the legal system right now. If there is a problem with him, we’ll do what we can to help him take care of it.””
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